John Trudell (1992)

“…an Indian is someone you rob, someone you steal from.”

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If you’re into “Serial,” “The Jinx” or “Making of A Murderer,” check out “Incident at Oglala,” a 1992 documentary about Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist imprisoned for two murders there is reason to believe he did not commit. You will also meet John Trudell, Pelletier’s fellow-activist, who had an unsolved true crime story of his own: Trudell’s pregnant wife, three children and mother-in-law died in a fire that may have been set at the instigation of the FBI (the same FBI, I must note as a Bostonian, then engaged in abetting gangster-murderer-informer Whitey Bulger).

Fire investigators said the blaze was “of suspicious origins,” but their investigation went no further. Trudell believed his family was murdered. He did not think it mere coincidence that on February 11, 1979, the day before the fatal fire, he had burned an American flag at a demonstration in front of FBI headquarters in Washington D.C.

Ted Hawkins (1994)

“….I’m wringing wet with sweat, my throat’s on fire and my hand is aching. But I had to keep going…”

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“Cold and Bitter Tears – The Songs of Ted Hawkins” is a tribute album boasting no celebrity names. James McMurtry, Kasey Chambers and Mary Gauthier are probably the most recognizable of the Americana and country artists on this new CD. But then Ted Hawkins never came close to celebrity himself, except to those who heard him on record or on stage – which in Hawkins’ case was most often in the open air on the beachfront sidewalks of Venice, California.

Allen Toussaint (1996)

“If I was to say my joy, piano is first.”

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I loved Allen Toussaint before I knew who Allen Toussaint was.